Many of us are aware that we need to protect our planet from damage caused by man-made materials and the choices we make in how we live our lives.
But what exactly does it mean to be eco-friendly?
It means living in a way that is not harmful to the environment and there are many sustainable trends we can take advantage of, like living an energy-efficient life which can help minimize the negative effect we are having on the planet.
While individual homes might not have a detrimental effect on the environment as large corporations do, if every property made a few small changes to become more eco-friendly, it would have a significant impact on the amount of damage caused.
When it comes to making your property eco-friendlier, there is a range of projects, some are small and inexpensive, and then there are more costly home improvements that require a lot of money in the short term but can have positive, long-lasting effects in the long run.
We’ve put together a list of home improvement projects you can do to make your property more eco-friendly. From eco-conscious renovations to what we eat, how we clean our home, and even the type of property we choose to own, and how making some or all of these changes can have a big impact.
Small Home Improvement Projects
Insulation and Draught Proofing
When it comes to heating our homes, one of the simplest ways to save energy and keep the heat in is to insulate your property. You might not have the capital to replace all your windows to double glazing or upgrade your boiler to one that uses condensing technology, but you can fill your floorboards, purchase a few draft excluders, and reseal your windows.
Eco-friendly Cleaning Products
Most mass-produced cleaning items contain preservatives or foaming agents that are harmful to the environment and to humans. By using cleaning products without toxic chemicals that will end up in our water system, this not only helps to reduce water pollution but is better for us too.
Try biodegradable products or better still, make your own natural cleaning solutions by mixing white vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda. Other household items you could switch to might be; natural shampoos and recycled toilet paper.
Energy Efficient Lighting
Another cost-effective way to save energy is to replace your light bulbs with energy-saving ones. LED light bulbs provide the same light quality but use much less energy than traditional bulbs where around 80% is lost in heating the bulb.
Bigger Home Improvement Projects
Wifi enabled smart technology is becoming increasingly popular in homes. Smart thermostats can be easily controlled from a smart device such as your mobile phone, making it easy to control the energy that is used in your home. Property owners can connect their central heating and air conditioning systems to be remote-controlled from anywhere, at any time, reducing the amount of energy wasted and saving on utility bills.
A survey completed on people using Google’s Nest thermostat saw that UK homes saved almost 20% on energy use when compared to homes without smart technology.
Installing solar panels on your property will use the sun’s energy and turn it into electricity to power your home. Renewable energy solutions are a great way to generate your own sustainable energy source and according to the Energy Saving Trust, can save the average UK home one tonne of carbon per year. Even though this home improvement might be costly in the short term, there are many solar panel grants available in the UK that can make the project more affordable.
Solar panels can also be used with heat pumps so you’re able to generate heat and hot water from renewable energy sources and are a fantastic alternative to boilers and air conditioners. Heat pumps take heat from the ground, the air, or from water and transfers it to your home.
They also work in the opposite way by extracting heat from inside your home and using it outdoors to water your garden area. This is another expensive improvement, but the UK Governments Boiler Upgrade Scheme offers up to £5,000 off the upfront installation cost.
While there are many eco-friendly changes you can make to your existing home, more and more property investment companies in the UK now offer properties complete with eco features to help people live a more sustainable life and to give back to the environment. Companies such as RWinvest have teamed up with One Tree Planted and pledges that for every unit purchased in their new eco-development, 100 trees will be planted in the Amazon rainforest.
Instead of making eco-friendly changes to your home, you could move to a new eco property made from environmentally friendly building materials that have low-carbon facilities and technology such as solar panels and energy-efficient lighting and heating systems already installed.
Eco properties are undoubtedly the next sustainable trend and are a smart choice for investors with one eye on the future.